This castle-looking building used to be one of Amsterdam’s main city gates. As the city grew, the water surrounding it was filled in to create this plaza, which has been used as an occasional market ever since. The building has been many things. It’s called De Waag (the Weighing House) from its days as a tax house. In the 17th century, it was a guildhall that included the operating theater shown in Rembrandt’s THE ANATOMY LESSON. It became a 19th-century fire station before housing early iterations of the Jewish History Museum and the Amsterdam History Museum. Now, it’s home to a café and society for art and science.
The Nieuwmarkt area is a place where trends collide with history and lifelong Amsterdammers jostle with people who just flew in. Lokaal ‘t Loosje (opposite the southwest corner of the plaza), for example, was founded by a Jewish family in 1912 and once had the oldest café cat in the city. This is the last location on the tour, so once you’re done, why not grab a seat on a café patio to watch Amsterdam speed and meander by?